There is every reason to believe that there is a huge disconnect between Nigerians and their government. These two bodies are certainly living in two different realities of indefinable dimensions, that it sometimes appears they are invariably working to hasten the evil days. While the government always capriciously device a means to generate enough funds into the treasury for their looting spree, the people whose existence is being toyed with appear apolitical and wimpy. Their strategy is not to confront the government even if the latter comes up with the craziest idea of removal of fuel subsidy this time, which will compound the misery of the people in the pretension of economic stratagem for the general good. With many Nigerians living under strict economic marginalization and are barely surviving with less than a dollar a day, this “smart” government wants to hike the fuel price to 340 Naira per liter by February 2022, with this fuel subsidy removal?
One does not need divination to understand the outcome of such an insensitive measure. Nigeria, being a singular revenue derivative nation on crude oil, the entire economy depends solely on the behavior of the crude oil market. And for the government to scheme to meddle with an already bastardized economy, (courtesy of its cluelessness) it is time not to worry but to be afraid. It is time to be afraid because as the fuel price rises, it drags commodities up, while the income of the common man remains static. This is to say that what is affordable today might by next year become a luxury beyond the reach of an average Nigerian, including foodstuff. As it stands, with the millions that survive with a meal a day, more million Nigerians will be added to the queue. And the more people are hungry the desperate they become.
The upsurge of kidnappers and bandits in recent years points to the desperation of a people ready to do anything to survive, even if it requires taking human lives. When the government cannot engage the people with the creation of jobs, and work in such a way that will douse the hardship, the people tend to allow their minds to be engaged in whatever ideas they deemed fanciful without considering the implications. The scenario becomes a jungle of millions scavenging on limited supplies to survive.
When asked the government how they intend to ameliorate the difficulties the fuel hike will result when the subsidy is gone, the lame answer was to support 400 million Nigerians monthly with 5,000 each. It is obvious the math does not add up and will at the end of the day surpass the subsidy expenditure. So, who is fooling who? What is the intention of removing subsidies if not to have more to cart away by these knuckleheads’ bandits parading as government? Is feeding the nation and relieving their burden of survival not the priority of the government? What is governance when you are the poverty capital of the world? And instead of seeking a way to get out of the ditch where you are sauntering in self-glorification for manning a government; you are plotting for a more incisive measure that will exacerbate the sorry situation?
How about the people themselves? The acute inertia prevalent amongst the people compels this unqualified subservience in the government business. In reality, the people are the government and not the few individuals that run the affairs. The people have the power to determine what they want, the route to take, and the future they desire. The power rest with them, but unfortunately self-centeredness prevents the patriotic spirit from flaming for the sacrifice of the common good. The labor union that was once considered as the voice of the people is now swallowed by corruption. Yet, even at that, the people are not left with zero options on how to demand a reversal to this subsidy imbroglio.
Mass protest will do the magic if the people can call up once again the END SARS protest spirit and take to the street peacefully to save themselves from these criminals. If Nigerians can march on our cities for two weeks and shut down the government, the demand to keep the subsidy will be forcibly accepted. The government needs to be ashamed of itself for even thinking about subsidies. It is only Nigeria that produces crude oil, ships it out to be refined, and buys it back when petroleum engineers are jobless and hungry. Until we collectively do the right thing the wrong things will consume us!